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Goal setting can provide an opportunity to understand priorities and make plans. A plan makes both partners accountable for the outcome. This can be particularly important for PSP couples who have busy schedules and may lose sight of things they hope to achieve. They may want to change habits (e.g., develop a healthier diet), address relationship challenges (e.g., increase couple time), or have long-term plans (e.g., save for retirement). It can be helpful to start with smaller goals (e.g., eating a vegetable with each meal this week) before you take on bigger goals that may require significant change. 

Things to consider…
  • Clarifying what your shared goals are (big and small).
  • Deciding what goals are realistic and negotiating priorities.
  • Writing down goals.
  • Determining the steps you will need to take to achieve goals.
  • Understanding how you will measure progress and success.
Do you want to know more about this?

Finding common ground is necessary to reach agreement on which goals will be set. The key is to establish goals together that are clear and specific, measurable, and attainable.  Focus on setting goals that are meaningful and positive (e.g., focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want).

When goals are broader and longer term, taking time to write down specific, measurable steps to attain your goal(s) is important. This allows you to understand the steps, track progress, and achieve success.    

Skill Building:

Goal Setting Together

 

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Check out our self-directed Spouse or Significant Other Wellbeing Course.

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References for this page (click to expand)

Disabled and Here (photo by Chona Kasinger) https://affecttheverb.com/disabledandhere/ (CC by 4.)

Weber, T., McKeever, J. E., & McDaniel, S. H. (1985). A beginner’s guide to the problem-oriented first family interview. Family Process, 24, 357–364. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.1985.00357.x

Woods, S.B. (2019). Goal setting in couple and family therapy. In J.L. Lebow, A. L. Chambers, D.C. Breunlin (Eds.), Encyclopedia of couple and family therapy (pp. 1303-1307) . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8